When I realized my sexuality did not define me, it felt like death to all that I knew to be true of myself. It was an excruciating revelation. The one thing that provoked me to embark on this journey were words of Jesus in Mark 8:34-37. Here it is in The Message:
“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?”
The words in bold were like a sucker punch deep within my soul. They haunted me for the next several months. What I wanted was to be in a committed relationship with another woman who would spur me on in my faith and we would do much good in this world together. However, I couldn’t escape the question, What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? I thought the real me was a lesbian. Yet here was Jesus challenging my heart, making me question if I even knew who the real me was. Was it possible that long ago I had lost the real me? How I lived and the desires I had, felt both right and normal. How could God possibly ask me to deny who I was? Didn’t He create me this way?
It seemed like every time I picked up the Bible, it was challenging me to deny myself. This call kept popping up in the gospels; I couldn’t avoid them.
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? (Matthew 16:24-27 NLT)
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? (Luke 9:23-25 NLT)
On more than one occasion I either slammed my Bible shut or threw it across the room. I couldn’t seem to escape the question, What could you ever trade your soul for? I had more questions than answers. Had I been living a lie as a lesbian? What was God’s view of sexuality?
In my next few posts I will explore my process.
Thanks for following my journey. Your comments are always welcome